CAMP HILL, Pa. - The Coaches Caravan capped off the first leg of the 12-stop
tour with visits to Lancaster and Harrisburg on Thursday.
A capacity crowd of 330 fans greeted head coaches Bill O'Brien, Cael Sanderson
and Russ Rose for a luncheon at Penn Square in Lancaster. The bus then loaded up for a 50-minute drive
to Camp Hill for the week's final stop before nearly 550 enthusiastic attendees. In total, more than 2,100 fans and alums took part in Caravan stops during week one. Take a look through some highlights on day three at two visits to the
heart of Nittany Nation.
Stop V - Lancaster (Marriott at Penn
Square) A sold out crowd of 330 enthusiastic Penn State fans and alums greeted all
three coaches on the docket for Thursday's lunch stop with a warm, standing
ovation reception. Five-time NCAA
champion women's volleyball head coach Russ Rose joined the Caravan for the
final day of the initial leg.
Sanderson kicked off the panel of speakers with high praise of the other two
leaders on stage with him. The wrestling
offices are just down the hall from the women's volleyball offices inside Rec
Hall, and Sanderson told the crowd that when he sees Rose and how he runs his
program, he uses it as motivation for leading the wrestling program.
"Coach Rose is a tremendous asset for Penn State," Sanderson said.
"What he (Coach O'Brien) has done for the University is unbelievable,"
Sanderson went on to say.
Nestled in the heart of wrestling country, Sanderson took the opportunity to
tell the fans to take advantage of the opportunity to see talents like David
Taylor and Ed Ruth wrestle during their senior seasons. Sanderson said that elite athletes like those
two do not come around too often.
Rose took the microphone second and echoed Sanderson's remarks about the cast
of coaches on stage at the Caravan stops on Thursday. He joked that his team's 109-match winning
streak during the program's unprecedented string of four-straight NCAA titles
pales is just a number alongside Sanderson's 159-0 mark as a collegiate wrestler.
The Nittany Lion women's volleyball team will kick off a European tour on
Saturday. Rose said he is looking
forward to how his team works during the offseason. The Lions kick off the trip in the Czech
Republic and cap things off in Italy.
One of the great things about the Caravan is seeing how the coaches interact
with one another. All three leaders were
truly genuine in their remarks directed at one another. Sanderson and Rose both praised O'Brien for
his leadership of the program during the past 15 months. O'Brien's feelings are mutual for the other
two coaches. He and Sanderson shared
stories and exchanged coaching philosophies throughout the bus travel on Thursday.
"It's very humbling to share the stage with Russ Rose and Cael Sanderson,"
O'Brien said as he opened his speech.
The trio of coaches in Lancaster was among the seven Penn State leaders who
earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors during the 2012-13 season.
"[Penn State] is a great place to be. Our
coaching staffs are really strong in a lot of areas," Rose said.
VIDEO: Lancaster Press Conference with Coaches
O'Brien, Rose and Sanderson
Stop VI: Harrisburg (Radisson Camp Hill)
Following a luncheon before a capacity crowd, the Caravan rolled into the
Harrisburg area for an evening program in Camp Hill. Nearly 550 guests congregated inside the
Grand Ballroom at the Radisson to hear O'Brien, Sanderson and Rose address the
crowd on Thursday night.
The first week of the Caravan ended with a night
fun night of entertainment for the fans in Harrisburg. The largest crowd of the week was a lively,
engaged group from start to finish during the speeches and Q&A, largely thanks
to another sterling performance from leadoff man Cael Sanderson to kick-start
After drawing a huge crowd and shaking countless hands during the pre-event
reception, Sanderson had the audience in stiches with one-liner after one-liner
during his speech. Among many
quick-witted moments, he got the crowd into a standing ovation contest, as he
called it, to see how many times he could get the crowd to give O'Brien a
standing ovation during his own speech.
All three coaches fed off of one another at both stops on Thursday, but
Sanderson and O'Brien were a comical matchup on stage throughout the evening in
Harrisburg. O'Brien answered Sanderson's
stand-up act later during his speech by ribbing the wrestling legend for losing
a grand total of three matches from high school through college (He was a combined
286-3 in high school and college.)
"Come on, Cael. You could have done better than that (laughter)," O'Brien said.
With the crowd roaring, Rose took the microphone and said," Cael's on
fire!" The Nittany Lion women's
volleyball head coach went on to tell the crowd that the individuals in the
room understood what the true meaning is behind being a Penn Stater. The 34-year veteran also knows a thing or two
about what Penn State is all about with its success on the field of play and in
"I've been there a long time, and I love being there," Rose said. "I'm not going anywhere."
"When you talk about Penn State around the country, you just want people to see
what people are like in a room like this," O'Brien said.
The Penn State community is special to all three coaches. Without a doubt, they all had fun joking with
one another on stage Thursday night, but there is no question how each coach
feels about the place they call home and the people who support the Blue and
"If you have
that support before the success that's how you get the success, and that's what
we have at Penn State," Sanderson said.
"A roomful of energetic, passionate Penn Staters, this is what it's all about,"
VIDEO: Harrisburg Press Conference with
Coaches O'Brien, Rose and Sanderson
Miles Covered on Day One - 203 miles Miles Covered on Day Two - 147 miles
Miles Covered on Day Three - 254 miles
Caravan Total - 604 miles
The Caravan resumes on Tuesday with stops in Williamsport and Allentown.
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Coaches Caravan bus rolled south on I-95 for day
two of the first leg on Wednesday morning en route for a lunch stop at the Inner
Harbor in Baltimore and an evening reception in Washington, D.C.
More than 225 fans at lunch and 375 enthusiastic attendees at dinner greeted an all-star cast of Penn State coaches,
which included Bill O'Brien, Patrick Chambers, Cael Sanderson and Coquese
Washington. Take a look through some highlights
on day two, which included an entertaining evening stop in the nation's capital.
Stop III - Baltimore (Sheraton Inner
Harbor) The Baltimore crowd was greeted with a treat on Wednesday morning as
coaches from four major Penn State programs took the opportunity to meet,
mingle and address a room filled with Penn State fans and alums. Joining O'Brien and Chambers on day two of
the Caravan were two coaches with Big Ten Coach of the Year accolades from the
2012-13 season in Sanderson and Washington.
Washington, who led the Lady Lions to a second-straight Big Ten title and
third-consecutive NCAA Tournament trip this season, spoke to the crowd first.
"It's fantastic to see so much support from Baltimore," Washington said.
Washington added that she will be thrilled for the Penn State fans in the
Baltimore to be able to see the Lady Lions in person when Maryland joins the
Big Ten prior to the 2014-15 season.
Washington highlighted her team's march to a second-straight conference
title and updated the crowd on what lies ahead for her young team in the fall.
"We have seven freshmen coming in this summer.
Baltimore, please pray for me," Washington joked.
To close her speech, Washington expressed her appreciation for what all of the
Penn State fans do for each and every program on campus.
"For us to do what we do, you guys are a part of our team," Washington said.
Fresh off leading the Penn State wrestling team to its third-straight NCAA
title, Sanderson received a standing ovation as he was introduced to the
crowd. O'Brien was among the first
people in the room to stand and applaud for Sanderson, who walked to the
microphone clad in a dark suit with a blue "O'Brien's Lions" T-shirt on under
"I think that was probable for the T-shirt," Sanderson joked as he opened his
jacket. "That's why O'Brien stood up
Coach Chambers explained to the crowd that he and his staff spend a lot of time
recruiting in the Baltimore area. Like
he did on day one, the leader of Nittany Lion basketball told the crowd to
expect an exciting, high-paced attack on the hardwood when the Lions take the
floor in the fall.
O'Brien spoke last during the luncheon.
He kicked off his speech with a sarcastic congratulatory message to the
fans of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the room, which drew a
great deal of laughter. Additionally, he
told the crowd how he and strength coach Craig Fitzgerald Googled Cael
Sanderson's name to marvel over his athletic and coaching accomplishments,
which again created a roar of laughter from the crowd of 225.
The Nittany Lions currently have 11 players on the football roster from
Maryland, many of which play a very prominent role on the team. With that being said, O'Brien talked about
the importance of recruiting in Maryland and how the program will continue to
emphasize the importance of finding talent in Maryland.
As was the case in Reading and Philadelphia, all four coaches used the Caravan
stop to say thank you for the support.
Without the core group of supporters, like the ones in the room at
Baltimore, the Penn State athletic programs would not be the same.
"You are the foundation. Without you
guys we are not possible," Chambers said.
VIDEO: Baltimore Press Conference with Coach
Stop IV: Washington (Hyatt Regency) The Coaches Caravan moved
south after the Baltimore stop to the nation's capital for the fourth program
on the first week. In front of a lively
crowd of 375, O'Brien, Chambers, Sanderson and Washington delivered a superb
series of speeches on Wednesday night.
"You all are a lively bunch. This is
going to be a fun evening," Washington said to open the program.
The four coaches deserve a great deal of credit for their presentations, but
the fans and alums in attendance made the Washington, D.C. event one of the
best in the two years of the Coaches Caravan.
From start to finish, the crowd was enthusiastic and energetic inside
the Regency Ballroom.
Sanderson, who spoke second, put on a display of stand-up comedy at the podium
during his five-plus minutes at the microphone.
Wearing his second piece of Bill O'Brien fan gear of the day, Sanderson
donned a "Billieve" shirt under his suit jacket.
From ribbing Coach Chambers about the work he has ahead of him to telling Coach
O'Brien that the reason everyone is a fan of his is because he goes for it on
fourth down every chance he gets, Sanderson had the crowd roaring with
"How many times do they really go for it on fourth down?" Sanderson joked.
Chambers picked up right where Sanderson left off, telling the D.C. crowd about
how he had been mistaken for Sanderson on several occasions in Baltimore and
prior to the evening event Washington.
He joked that he even signed a few autographs with Sanderson's
"He's a beast! I'm just a skinny point guard (laughter)," Chambers said.
Outside of the comical speeches from all four, the theme of Wednesday night
centered on the folks in the room, the core Penn State fans, as O'Brien has
called the group throughout the Caravan.
It is people like the enthusiastic crowd in Washington, D.C. that make
Penn State sporting events and its programs so special.
Like Sanderson said during his speech about what his message is to recruits -
"When you come to Penn State, you will be a part of something special," he
said. The same holds true for the fans. When you support Penn State sports teams,
whether it be fans or alums or both, you will become a part of something very
special, much bigger than wins and losses on the field of play.
"This is one of the best crowds we've had since we've done this for two years,"
The Caravan moves to Lancaster and Camp Hill on Thursday to cap off week one.
VIDEO: Washington Press Conference with
Coaches O'Brien, Washington and Sanderson
Miles Covered on Day One - 203 miles Miles Covered on Day Two - 147 miles
Caravan Total - 350 miles
Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUSports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As Quentin Wright took the mat for what would be his
final match in a Penn State singlet, the four time All-American couldn't have
asked for a better script.
With the Nittany Lions needing one more win to pull away from second place
Oklahoma State to secure their third straight national title, the Wingate, Pa
native found himself face to face with Kent State's Dustin Kilgore, who like
Wright, was looking to cap off an undefeated season with his second individual
"I knew one of us had to take it upon our
shoulders to get it and I thought why not me," said Wright. "Let's go out
there. Let's win this. Let's clinch the team race."
Going up against an opponent that hadn't been
taken down once all year, Wright scored three takedowns on Kilgore, including
two in the final period for an 8-6 victory that put the finishing touches on an
incredible senior season for Wright as well as another title for the Nittany
Even after clinching the second national title of
his decorated career, Wright seemed much prouder of his team's accomplishment
than his own.
"The team race is really important to me personally,"
said Wright. "Winning (for myself) too, but more importantly, the team race is
Wright's victory gave Penn State its second
individual national champion, after junior Ed Ruth scored a dominant 12-4 major
decision over Lehigh's Robert Hamlin for his second consecutive national title.
For Ruth, the most memorable moment of his title
run occurred directly after his win over Hamlin, when head coach Cael Sanderson
congratulated him by lifting the 184-pounder up onto his shoulders.
"That's one of the things that makes me even more
proud to win the title because, at the same time, I'm making my coaches happy,"
said Ruth. "These guys that put so much time and effort into me, and they
dedicate a lot of themselves, not just time, but themselves, just everything
that they have to make you who you are."
While Ruth was quick to thank his coaching staff
for the impact they had on his success, Sanderson made sure that the credit for
the Nittany Lions title was given solely to his wrestlers.
Sanderson stated he was immensely proud of not only Wright and Ruth, but all
ten of his starters who qualified for the national tournament, including junior
David Taylor, sophomore Nico Megaludis, and sophomore Matt Brown, who all
reached the finals and were named All-Americans.
"I'm really proud of these guys, I guess, for the
effort and what they did," said Sanderson. "They went out there and they scored
the most points. That's what wins."
What set this team apart, according to the
coaching staff, was the toughness and work ethic that each member of the team
exhibited, not just during the national tournament, but during the whole season
It is these traits that Sanderson believes has
allowed his program to reign as the kings of college wrestling for three
consecutive years now.
"It takes character and that's what this sport is
all about. That's what it takes," said Sanderson. "It's just being tough."
Although the Nittany Lions are thrilled to have accomplished the goal that they
set out to achieve at the beginning of the season, they have no plans on
letting their run of success end any time soon.
With eight starters returning to the lineup next
season, including All-Americans Ruth, Taylor, Megaludis and Brown as well as
2012 All-American Dylan Alton, Penn State has its eye set on nothing less than
their fourth straight national championship.
For the time being though, the Lions are going to
sit back and enjoy their most recent championship, and reflect on all the long
hours of hard work they put into winning it.
"I think every year you have different
challenges. It certainly doesn't get any easier," said Sanderson. "We're super
happy. Our guys did a great job. Back and forth. Our guys came through."
Iowa - For the third-straight season, the Nittany Lion wrestling team will sit
atop the NCAA Wrestling world after senior Quentin Wright clinched the 2013
NCAA team crown with a national championship victory in Saturday's 197-pound
NCAA final inside Wells Fargo Arena.
Needing two wins in Saturday night's NCAA finals to clinch the national
championship, junior Ed Ruth and Wright tallied back-to-back national titles at
184 and 197 pounds, respectively, to garner Penn State's third-straight NCAA
title by four points over Oklahoma State.
Penn State has talked about working towards a run in the month of March since
the practice season began in October.
Time after time after time head coach Cael Sanderson and the Lion
wrestlers repeated the importance of wrestling their best at the NCAA
And for the third-straight year, Penn State rose to the top when it counted
"We're super happy. Our guys did a great job. Back and forth. Our guys came through. I think every year is a little -- you have
different challenges. It certainly
doesn't get any easier," Sanderson said. "The first one was super special. It
doesn't get easier. I'm really proud of
these guys, I guess, for the effort and what they did. They went out there and they scored the most
points. That's what wins. It was a great
tournament. I think Oklahoma State had a
very good tournament. Made it a lot of
The Nittany Lions finished with two national champions, along with Nico
Megaludis, David Taylor and Matt Brown scoring runner-up finishes at their
respective weight classes. Although Ruth
and Wright will be the happiest men in Blue and White leaving Des Moines, it
takes a complete team effort to win a national title in a tournament as
competitive as the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
"I think all of our finalists, they just wrestled," Sanderson said. "They wrestled great matches. I'm real proud of them."
It was a special night for Ruth and Wright, who both joined the elite club of
two-time NCAA champions. Ruth turned in
a dominant outing, scoring a major decision victory with a flurry of takedowns
in the final period.
"To get a major decision in the NCAA finals, it just shows you not only a
talented kid, but he's a tough kid," Sanderson said. "He's a great character. He's just an extreme talent, but what I like
about Ed is just he's got a glow about him. You look in his eyes, and he's sparkling,
and he's got that smile. He's just a good kid."
Wright capped off his Penn State career in fitting style by clinching the NCAA
team title in his final match. The
Wingate, Pa., native is the epitome of a team player, always putting his
teammates and the team score ahead of his individual accomplishments. Wright's win on Saturday night was the
difference maker in helping the Lions head home with the team trophy.
"Quentin Wright, just a tough match, tough kid, tough opponent," Sanderson
said. "He did a fantastic job. That was
a clutch match, obviously."
For the third-straight season Penn State Wrestling will head back to Happy
Valley as the Big Ten and NCAA champion.
The Nittany Lions are king in college wrestling for 2013.
NCAA Finals Roundup:
184: #1 Ed Ruth (33-0) - NCAA Champion - 184 Pounds When top-seeded Ed
Ruth took the mat for his second-straight NCAA finals bout, the Nittany Lions
were trailing Oklahoma State in the team race by one tally. Ruth knew the team scoring was tight, but as
he has done throughout his Penn State career, the relaxed Ruth did not let the
pressure deter him from wrestling his match against Lehigh's Robert
Hamlin. Ruth led 2-1 after one period,
but was well in control with 2:33 of riding time. His lead grew to 5-1 after two, but the third
period belonged to the junior. Ruth
scored three takedowns, including two in the final seconds, to go along with a
riding time point to make it a 12-4 major decision. Ruth capped off his second-straight
undefeated season with a second NCAA title, this year coming at one weight
class higher than 2012. The extremely
talented Ruth has a knack for making things look easy on the mat, but you
cannot discount the way he has dominated the competition for two-straight
seasons. Ruth is now 102-2 in his time
at Penn State with two NCAA titles and a third-place finish during his freshman
Quote: "Oh, man. It wasn't even when the whistle blew. It was when the
guy came over counting down. He was like three, two, and I'm like, oh, I'm
about to win. I'm about to win. As soon as he said one, the crowd is cheering
and everything. I felt like my heart exploded."
197: #2 Quentin Wright (32-0) - NCAA Champion - All-American You could not have
written a better script for the final match in Quentin Wright's career. The Central Pennsylvania native grew up dreaming
of wrestling for the Nittany Lions.
Wright will now leave Penn State as a two-time NCAA champion following a
thrilling 8-6 victory over previously unbeaten Dustin Kilgore from Kent State. Wright and Kilgore exchanged takedowns and
escapes during the first period, which sent the match into the second squared
at 3-3. Wright added an escape point to
open the second for a 4-3 edge. With the
match tied at 4-4 in the third, Wright took over, tallying back-to-back
takedowns on his way for the 8-6 victory.
Wright's triumph clinched Penn State's third-straight NCAA team title,
making his second-carrier NCAA crown that much sweeter. Wright finishes his Nittany Lion career with
two national titles, one national runner-up and four All-American honors, not
to mention a perfect senior season.
Quote: "Really, the team race is really important to me personally.
Winning too, but more importantly, the team race is important. I knew one of us
had to take it upon our shoulders to get it and I thought why not me? Let's go
out there. Let's win this. Let's clinch the team race."
125: #4 Nico Megaludis (28-4) - NCAA Runner-Up - All-American Wrestling in the NCAA finals for the second-straight season, sophomore Nico
Megaludis tangled with second-seed Jesse Delgado from Illinois in the 125-pound
tilt. The match moved into the second
period tied at 0-0. Delgado scored an
escape for a 1-0 lead in the second.
Megaludis then answered with an escape to open the third to make it
1-1. However, the Illini sophomore scored
a takedown and three near-fall points on the edge of the mat to claim a 6-1
lead. Megaludis added an escape and
takedown, but Delgado held on for a 7-4 victory to claim the crown at 125
pounds. Megaludis ends his sophomore
season with a 28-4 overall record. He is
now a two-time All-American and two-time NCAA runner-up.
Sanderson on Megaludis: "Nico [Megaludis] wrestled a great match and
ended up getting beat there at the end, but he wrestled great. And guys are
leaders. Nico Megaludis is a leader. He started with off with a big win in the
semifinals, big wins in the quarterfinals, and having that guy with that type
of leadership of consistency and just toughness, that's why we won the team
174: #2 Matt Brown (29-5) - NCAA Runner-Up
- All-American Second-seeded Matt Brown's superb run through the postseason fell just
short of an NCAA title on Saturday night.
Brown was the first of five Nittany Lions out on the stage in the NCAA
finals round. Brown and top-seeded Chris
Perry from Oklahoma State wrestled to a scoreless first period. Brown notched an escape to open the second,
while Perry scored an escape to open the third to make it 1-1. The duo ended regulation tied at 1-1 before a
scoreless sudden victory period. In the
first tiebreak, Perry rode out Brown to keep the score at 1-1. In the second tiebreak, Brown escaped out for
a 2-1 lead and held on to win the match, 2-1.
Brown finished a tremendous sophomore season as an All-American, Big Ten
champ and NCAA runner-up in his first full campaign on the mat.
Sanderson on Brown: "Matt Brown, he did an awesome job. He came out --
I don't know what he was seeded at the Big 10s, but he was down there a ways,
six, seven, a good kid, won the tournament, helped us win the championship
there. Then he leads this team getting in the finals and having an overtime
165: #2 David Taylor (30-2) - NCAA
Runner-Up - All-American Billed as the headliner match of the evening, defending NCAA champion David
Taylor took the stage against three-time defending champion Kyle Dake in the
final match of the evening. With the
arena buzzing with excitement, Taylor struck first with a takedown in the
opening period. Dake managed to score an
escape and then notched a takedown of his own before the first period
closed. With a 3-2 lead, Dake started on
bottom in the second, and he added an escape to make it 4-2 after two. Taylor cut the lead to 4-3 after an escape in
the third. He added a stalling point to
make it 4-4, but 1:13 of riding time for Dake during a strong third period on
top led to a 5-4 victory and his fourth NCAA crown at four different weight
classes. Taylor finishes a tremendous
junior season with a 30-2 mark, both losses coming by one point against
Dake. Taylor is now a three-time
All-American after an incredible run through the draw in Des Moines. For the second-straight season Taylor pinned
his way to the NCAA finals, and he now has eight pins in his last 10 NCAA
matches. Taylor was one step away from
his ultimate goal in 2013, but the junior put together another outstanding
season for the Nittany Lions. His
leadership in the locker played an instrumental role in helping lead Penn State
to all three of its NCAA titles, and he will be back strong next fall.
Sanderson on Taylor: "David Taylor, he led Penn State to three national
championships through his great leadership, his hustle, his love of competing,
leading with a passion and bonus points. He's made this sport a better sport
and I couldn't be more proud of the kid. He's great. He's an awesome, awesome
wrestler and an even better leader."
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
DES MOINES, Iowa - Celebrate with head coach Cael Sanderson and the
Nittany Lions by a taking a look back at a memorable day inside Wells Fargo
Arena. Penn State claimed its third-straight
national title at the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Saturday night. Sights and sounds from championship Saturday
in Des Moines.
Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
DES MOINES, Iowa - The two-time defending NCAA champion Nittany Lion
wrestling team heads into the 2013 NCAA finals with a 3.0-point lead over
Oklahoma State in the team standings.
Five Nittany Lions - Nico Megaludis, David Taylor, Matt Brown, Ed Ruth and
Quentin Wright - will wrestle for NCAA titles on Saturday night (8 p.m. on
ESPN) inside Wells Fargo Arena.
While the Nittany Lions enter the session with a 3.0-point lead and have five
wrestlers in the finals, compared to two for Oklahoma State, the team title
race is far from over.
Team Standings Heading Into Final Round 1. Penn State - 114.5 (5 in Finals)
2. Oklahoma State - 111.5 (2 in Finals)
3. Minnesota - 99.0 - (1 in Finals)
4. Iowa - 69.0 (2 in Finals)
5. Cornell - 61.0 (1 in Finals)
***Note*** Penn State and Oklahoma State
are the only two teams still alive in the race for the team NCAA title.
It is shaping up to a very intriguing night of wrestling to go along with
the most spectacular night in the sport's season. Stay tuned throughout the night for updates,
and flip on ESPN at 8 p.m.
Breaking Down the Team Race: Each champion garners 4.0 points for his team. Additionally, wrestlers could add 1.0 more
points (5.0 total) for a major decision, 1.5 more points (5.5 total) for a
technical fall or 2.0 more points (6.0 total) for a pin. A win in the finals by pin sets the maximum
number of potential points at 6.0 points for each wrestler's team.
With that being said, the highest maximum total Penn State could end up with in
the title round is 30.0 points for a grand total of 144.5. The highest maximum total Oklahoma State
could end up with in the title round is 12.0 points for a grand total of 123.5.
Please note that the 114.5 and 111.5
point totals both teams have coming into the night already include second-place
points, so each champion adds 4.0 points plus any bonus with a win. The following are potential situations
that could decide the 2013 NCAA team title for Penn State:
- The magic number for Penn State to clinch the team title regardless of what
Oklahoma State does in the final round is 124.0 because the highest maximum
total for the Cowboys in the finals round is 123.5 (two wins by pin). To reach 124.0, the Nittany Lions would need
three wins in the finals by decision or two wins by at least major decision or one technical fall and one decision to clinch the title.
- Matt Brown and Oklahoma State's Chris Perry open the championship bouts on
Saturday night. It is the only matchup
between Penn State and Oklahoma State, making it a crucial match for the team
standings. If Brown defeats Perry, the
Nittany Lions would have a minimum of 118.5 total team points. With just Jordan Oliver remaining to wrestle
for Oklahoma State after the Brown-Perry match, the highest total Oklahoma
State could achieve (if Brown wins) is 117.5, which includes 4.0 for a win and a maximum of 2.0
- If Oklahoma State wins both of its final bouts, the Cowboys would finish with
a minimum of 119.5 points following two wins by decision and a maximum of 123.5
points following two pins. Should the
scenario occur with Oklahoma State finishing with 119.5, the Nittany Lions
would need a minimum of two victories in the finals OR one win by technical
fall or pinfall to clinch the team title.
- If Oklahoma State wins one of its final bouts, the Cowboys would finish with
a minimum of 115.5 points following a win by decision and a maximum of 117.5
points following a win by pin. Under
that scenario, the Nittany Lions would need to win one final match to clinch
the team title.
Note - Finals matches will begin at
174: #2 Matt Brown (29-4) vs. #1 Chris
Perry (Oklahoma State) (34-2) - Matt Brown is wrestling in the NCAA finals in his first appearance at the
- Chris Perry finished third at 174 pounds during his sophomore season in 2012.
- Brown and Perry have not wrestled in 2013.
184: #1 Ed Ruth (32-0) vs. #3 Robert
Hamlin (Lehigh) (26-3) - Ed Ruth is wrestling in the NCAA finals for the second-straight
season. Ruth won the 2012 NCAA title at
- Robert Hamlin was the NCAA runner-up at 184 pounds in 2011 (Quentin Wright
was the champ). He finished fourth in
- Ruth defeated Hamlin, 11-9, on Nov. 16 during the dual season.
197: #2 Quentin Wright (31-0) vs. Dustin Kilgore (Kent State) (43-0) - Quentin Wright will be wrestling in the NCAA finals for the
third-straight season. Wright won the
NCAA title at 184 pounds in 2011. He
finished second at 184 in 2012.
- Dustin Kilgore won the NCAA title at 197 pounds in 2011 (Took and Olympic
redshirt in 2012).
- Wright and Kilgore did not wrestle in 2012-13.
125: #4 Nico Megaludis (28-3) vs. #2 Jesse Delgado (Illinois) (25-3) - Nico Megaludis is wrestling in the 125-pound final for the
- Jesse Delgado, the 2013 Big Ten champ at 125 pounds, finished seventh at the
NCAA Championships in 2012.
- Megaludis and Jesse Delgado have wrestled twice in 2013, including two weeks
ago at the Big Ten Championships.
Megaludis pinned Delgado (6:45) in Penn State's dual match at Illinois
on Feb. 3. Delgado defeated Megaludis, 6-3, at the Big Ten Championships on
165: #2 David Taylor (30-1) vs. #1 Kyle Dake (Cornell) (36-0) - David Taylor is wrestling in the NCAA finals for the third time in his
Nittany Lion career. Taylor was the NCAA
runner-up at 157 pounds in 2011. He won
the 2012 NCAA title at 165 pounds.
- Kyle Dake is seeking to become the first wrestler in NCAA history to win
four-straight NCAA titles at four different weight classes. Dake was the
champion at 141 pounds in 2010, 149 pounds in 2011 and 157 pounds in 2012.
- Taylor and Dake wrestled against one another at the Southern Scuffle on Feb.
3, with Dake scoring a narrow 3-2 victory.
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
DES MOINES, Iowa - For the second-straight
season, the Nittany Lion wrestling team will have five representatives in the
NCAA finals following a five-for-five performance in Friday night's semifinal
round inside Wells Fargo Arena.
Nico Megaludis, David Taylor, Matt Brown, Ed Ruth and Quentin Wright will all
wrestle for NCAA titles on Saturday night (8 p.m. on ESPN) following victories
in the semifinals. Taylor's
fourth-consecutive pin in the tournament headlined a perfect semifinal round
for head coach Cael Sanderson's Nittany Lions.
Thanks to the five national finalists, Penn State (114.5) will take a
20.5-point lead over Oklahoma State into the final day of the NCAA
Championships. The Cowboys enter
Saturday with 94.0 points. Nonetheless,
the national title race is far from over with Oklahoma State and Minnesota
still very much alive.
Session IV Standings 1. Penn State - 114.5 (5 in Finals / 0 in Consolation)
2. Oklahoma State - 94.0 (2 in Finals / 5 in Consolation)
3. Minnesota - 86.0 - (1 in Finals / 7 in Consolation)
4. Iowa - 68.0 (2 in Finals / 2 in Consolation)
5. Cornell - 51.0 (1 in Finals / 3 in Consolation)
***Note*** Penn State, Oklahoma State and
Minnesota are the only three teams still alive in the race for the team NCAA
Saturday night is shaping up to be an exciting one for fans of Penn State
Wrestling. The Nittany Lions will have
five wrestlers in the NCAA finals, and the team race is still to be decided. The action will kickoff with the 174-pound
bout featuring Brown and No. 1 Chris Perry from Oklahoma State. From there, Ed Ruth will take the mat, and
then Quentin Wright will follow. Megaludis will be the fifth match out on the
mat. The headliner of the evening will
be Taylor vs. Dake in the final bout of the 2013 NCAA Championships.
After a superb semifinal round, the Nittany Lions are heading into the final
day of the championships in first place as they seek a third-straight NCAA
title. Take a blow-by-blow look at the fourth
session and look ahead at what the Lions have coming up on Saturday night.
125: #4 Nico Megaludis (29-3) - 4-0 -
Tournament Final - All American Sophomore Nico Megaludis is headed back to the NCAA final at 125 pounds for
the second-straight season following a hard-fought, dramatic victory over
top-seeded and unbeaten Alan Waters from Missouri based on riding time after
two sudden victory periods and sets of tiebreakers. The match was scoreless until Waters notched
a takedown to open the second period.
Megaludis answered with an escape to open the third. Aside from those two points, the duo spent
most of the match engaged in hand fighting, but neither could complete a
shot. The match moved through sudden
victory and a set of tiebreakers without a change in the score. After a second sudden victory period, the
match went back to tiebreakers. Both
Megaludis and Waters each notched an escape, and by virtue of 18 seconds of
riding time, Megaludis moved into the 125-pound final.
Quote: "I knew that it was going to come down to riding, because he's
good on top. I just knew I needed to use my bottom skills and not let him ride
me and pretty much used my attitude, that's what bottom is."
"Last year I expected to get in the finals, but this year I just really,
really, really expect it, I guess. I guess it's because I've been here already,
you know, been at this stage, you know. It's like every kid in here they want
to win it."
Next: Megaludis will meet second-seeded Jesse Delgado from Illinois in
the NCAA final at 125 pounds on Saturday night.
165: #2 David Taylor (30-1) - 4-0 - Tournament Final - All-American For the second-straight season, David Taylor pinned his way to the NCAA
final match in dominant fashion. The
Lion junior jumped out to a 7-1 lead after one period in his semifinal match
against Peter Yates from Virginia Tech.
Taylor notched an escape to open the second before putting Yates in a
cradle before turning him for a pin, his fourth in four matches at the 2013
NCAA Championships. Taylor loves
wrestling under the bright lights, and the bigger the stage the better he seems
to wrestle. With the 165-pound bout
against Kyle Dake slated to be the final match on Saturday night, there will be
no bigger stage in wrestling.
Quote: "I don't know what to tell you, I get in this tournament and
something happens where I learn how to pin people. I'm not complaining. This is
a tournament where bonus points are everything, and they're preached by every
coach. You don't realize how important bonus points can be."
Next: Taylor moves on to the NCAA final match at 165 pounds where he
will meet three-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake from Cornell.
174: #2 Matt Brown (29-4) - 4-0 - Tournament Final - All-American Matt Brown's run through the postseason continued on Saturday night with a
thrilling victory over Minnesota's Logan Storley. Brown used a first-period takedown to grab an
early lead. From there, Brown
overpowered the Minnesota veteran, never yielding a takedown en route to a 3-2
victory and berth into the NCAA final for the first time in his career. Not even the main arena lights going out in
the middle of Brown's match could slow down the Nittany Lion in his quest for a
spot in the final match. Brown did not
participate in last season's NCAA Championships, making this run through the
bracket even more special for the Nittany Lion sophomore. Always calm and collected, Brown said after
the match that he is thrilled with the opportunity to wrestle on the big stage
for the first time in his career.
Quote: "I don't think anything has changed, but some bumps that I took
along the way helped to expose what I need to work on and my coaches are
excellent and they helped me figure that out. It was a learning process, I
Next: Brown moves on to face top-seeded Chris Perry from Oklahoma State
in the national title bout at 174 pounds.
184: #1 Ed Ruth (32-0) - 4-0 -
Tournament Final - All-American Going into his semifinal match against Cornell's Steve Bosak, top-seeded Ed
Ruth knew that points were going to be tough to come by. As expected, Bosak did not let Ruth score at
will during a hard-fought 4-1 decision which sent the Nittany Lion junior to the
national title bout at 184 pounds. Ruth
notched an early takedown in the first period to gain early control. He then kept Bosak in front of him throughout
the match and moved into the final for the second-straight season. Ruth enters the final bout with a 32-0 mark.
Quote: "Well, he's a very good defensive wrestler. I was expecting
that. The first takedown a surprise for him, I guess, and as the match went on,
he just kind of settled back into the old defensive Steve Bosak. He's good at
being on his feet, keeping his feet back and putting his hands where they need
Next: Ruth moves on to face Cornell's Steve Bosak in the NCAA
semifinals on Friday night.
197: #2 Quentin Wright (31-0) - 4-0 - Tournament Final - All-American Four-time All-American Quentin Wright has wrestled his fair share of
dramatic matches during his Penn State career, but Friday night's semifinal
title with Mathew Wilps from Pittsburgh proved to be one he will likely
remember for a long time. In similar
fashion to Megaludis' semifinal match, Wright and Wilps headed into sudden
victory tied at 1-1. Through the first
tiebreak periods, the duo was knotted at 2-2.
The match went into a second tiebreaker squared at 2-2, but both
wrestlers notched an escape point to make it 3-3. By virtue of three more seconds of riding
time than Wilps, Wright moved into the NCAA final for the third-straight season
with a 4-3 win. It is only fitting that
the 2011 NCAA champ and 2012 NCAA runner-up gets to wrestle his final match in
a Penn State singlet on the big stage Saturday night in Des Moines.
Quote: "I was expecting a tough match, kind of like grind it out. The
match pretty much went how I thought it would it, except I thought I was going
to get a few more takedowns there. I was on the leg a few times, but he's a
tough wrestler, a solid kid. I just happened to come up with more points."
Next: Wright moves on to face top-seeded Dustin Kilgore from Kent State
on Saturday in the NCAA final match at 197 pounds.
133: #12 Jordan Conaway (19-10) - 3-2 - Tournament Complete Freshman Jordan Conaway's run in the consolation draw came to a close on
Friday night after a 14-4 setback to Cody Brewer from Oklahoma. Conaway notched three wins in his first
appearance at the national tournament, including a pin.
Next: Tournament Complete
157: #8 Dylan Alton (26-8) - 3-2 - Tournament
Complete Sophomore Dylan Alton suffered a 14-4 setback to Nebraska's James Green in
the round of 12 in the consolation draw.
Alton's season came to a close after posting 26 wins and three at the
2013 NCAA Championships.
Next: Tournament Complete
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DES MOINES, Iowa. - Hear
from all five of Penn State's 2013 NCAA finalists - Nico Megaludis, David
Taylor, Matt Brown, Ed Ruth and Quentin Wright - in the media room after
winning their semifinal bouts on Friday night inside Wells Fargo Arena.
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony